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Test Prep & Academic Tutor
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I was born in Racine, Wisconsin, and later went to Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, for my undergraduate degree. While at Cornell, I pursued a double major in Mathematics and Art History, a combination which strikes many as interesting. Cornell College is one of the very few schools that uses the OCAAT Program (One Class At A Time), and this unique structure both suited me and greatly influenced my philosophy on education. Learning how to focus intensely on one problem or subject until achieving growth is a useful skill, and it is this skill, among several others, that I have used to inform my tutoring work.
I have always had a passion for Mathematics and the Sciences, and I am in awe of their mysteries waiting still to be understood. I deeply enjoy the experience of bearing witness to a student’s responses when being introduced to new Mathematics content. I often find that their initial confusion gives way to a gradual or sudden realization. No two minds work exactly alike, and I always look forward to learning from my students’ unique perspectives. I worked for the ACT organization right out of college as a field test scorer, and this experience gave me a lot of insight into how the content is curated. When I started tutoring students in SAT or ACT test prep, I felt that I owed it to them to try and impart some of the realizations I had had while working intimately with the content of standardized tests.
I started tutoring as a Learning Specialist in Mathematics for three years at The Prairie School (a college preparatory K-12 school) in my home state of Wisconsin. This role allowed me to work with upwards of thirty high school students school-wide throughout a given year in both one-on-one and small group settings. I additionally worked with elementary and middle school students on enrichment and extension work. After leaving The Prairie School, I worked for one year as a Geometry teacher in a large public high school in my hometown. I went from having thirty students to nearly two hundred. I learned to manage my time efficiently and to cater to the different learning environment.
When I moved to the Bay Area, I began working for a start-up middle school in San Francisco called Millennium. I enjoyed my time working there and learned a lot more about what I wanted to do as an educator: I wanted the opportunity to work 1-on-1 with students where I can tailor my teaching to them individually.
My approach to tutoring begins with developing a strong relationship with my student, to establish trust and build a foundation where we can accomplish rigorous work and growth. I believe that it is my responsibility to be attentive to a student’s particular use of language and concepts in order to meet them where they are, whether it is with Mathematics or SAT/ACT preparation. By paying close attention to a particular student’s needs, I create a personalized approach to target the student’s learning style and interests. Some common needs that I have successfully addressed include test anxiety, math anxiety, mindfulness in problem-solving, math content gaps, standardized test taking strategies, and moving beyond memorization and into deep learning.
When not teaching, I enjoy playing and composing for the piano, reading as much as I can, and taking black and white photography.